I found this definition of sacrifice: “to give up something for something else considered more important.” I’m going with that. If you’ve set the right goal, you should sacrifice pretty much anything and everything for it, because if it’s your goal – then you’ve decided it’s most important. If, for example, making money truly is your goal, and it’s more important to you than, for example, family or relationships, then take every job, never be home, and when you are at home stay in your office and do stuff that will make money for you. If, however, you’ve set having a happy, fulfilled, loving family as your goal, then do whatever it takes to make that happen, including making enough money to provide what your family needs. Sorry, but you can’t have it all. You can, however, have what’s most important to you. That’s just a matter of making the right sacrifices. For me, what’s most important is family, friends, and relationships. I’ll sacrifice some money for that. Joe Calloway helps great companies get even better. www.JoeCalloway.com
I agree with Joe: you can’t have it all. But I learned something important from a pastor friend who added, “….but when you know what is really important, you don’t want it all anyway.” The unhappiest people I know are the people trying to “have it all:” the perfect home, manicured lawn, most influential social circles, the highest status car, meaningful relationships and lots of free time. They are unhappy because they don’t understand the concept of sacrifice. When you sacrifice nothing, you get nothing. An unwillingness to sacrifice ultimately means that you don’t know or aren’t sure what is truly important. He or she is no fool who gives up something of lesser value for greater value, and that is the essence of sacrifice. Perhaps as hard as making a sacrifice is the hard work of drilling down to what really matters to you. Mark Sanborn is president of Sanborn & Associates, Inc., an idea studio for leadership development. He is an award-winning speaker bestselling author of books including, The Fred Factor. For more information and free resources, visit www.marksanborn.com.
At first glance, it’s an easy question. Never sacrifice your health, family, or integrity. Past that, it gets tougher. If something is really important to you (and your goal should be really important otherwise it’s just a desire or a “would like to have” and not a goal) then you must understand that there will be plenty of sacrifice ahead of you. And if you aren’t doing some sacrificing, then your goal isn’t challenging enough. You will have to sacrifice some meals, some sleep, some family time, some money, some personal time, your old way of thinking and acting and much, MUCH more. Sacrifice is a natural part of achievement. The only way to GET is to GIVE UP. You don’t get rich, you give up what is making you broke. You don’t get skinny, you give up what is making you fat. You don’t get happy, you give up what is making you unhappy. You don’t get your goal, you give up what is keeping you from reaching your goal. Pick a goal, then make a list of what you are willing to sacrifice and what you aren’t, then go to work! Larry Winget, the Pitbull of Personal Development©, is a six-time NYT/WSJ bestselling author, social commentator and appears regularly on many national television news shows. To find out more, go to www.LarryWinget.com.
You…me…all of us…have been lied to. We’ve been told that we can “have it all” – but, that’s nothing more than a damnable lie. As all of my friends have noted, we have to make choices. We have to sacrifice one aspect of life we want, for another that we desire even more. My first wife (who passed from cancer after twenty-five years of marriage) loved her career as much as I love mine – and we chose not to have children. Was that decision good or bad? The answer, of course, is: yes. I know she was extraordinarily happy and thrilled in her work – and, I in mine. I know our friendships were deep, rich, and rewarding. Yes, there are extraordinary parts of life that we relinquished. The important point is that it was the right choice for us. We sacrificed the joys of parenthood for a different type of fulfillment. Sadly, what many people give up…is themselves. Not making a decision IS making a choice. It’s deciding to delay…to defer…to somehow die. It’s giving up what YOU want for what your family predicts, a boss presumes, or your friends presuppose. You can’t have it all…but you can be successful at something. When you make the right choices for you…the truth is that “something” can be spectacular.
Scott McKain writes good books, gives good speeches, and drinks good bourbon with great friends. He’s the founder of the Distinction Institute and a member of the Professional Speakers Hall of Fame. www.ScottMcKain.com
This question begs for a finite answer in a world of infinite (and relative) choices. And that’s why my answer is sacrifice everything or sacrifice nothing – it is your choice. What you will or won’t have to sacrifice to reach your goal depends on a number of variables that are completely personal to you: importance and difficulty of the challenge; time horizon to achieve it; your starting point; your life circumstances; your support system; your resources; and even luck. When it comes to achieving goals, most of us never honestly assess the variables; make the conscious choice about what is and isn’t important; and embrace the discipline and sacrifice to achieve them. Set an easy goal, and there will be very little or even no sacrifice. Set an insanely challenging goal, and you will likely have to give something up. And if you aren’t willing to give up something to reach that big audacious goal, there is a good chance that you will sacrifice reaching your goal. Randy Pennington helps leaders deliver positive results in a world of accelerating change. To find out more, go to www.penningtongroup.com.